Dewey Decimal Classification Card Game

For the past few months I have been tinkering with ways of teaching the Dewey Decimal Classification System to my students in a manner that does not make their eyes glaze over.

I am a bit of a stereotype as a Librarian inasmuch I love Dewey and what it does, but will admit that to the casual user it can seem a bit complicated andconfusing in places.

To that end I have designed a card game that can be used from Year 7 and up.
It is currently called the Dewey Decimal Classification Card Game but that lacks a certain je ne sans quoi, so if anyone comes up with a blinder of a game name please let me know!

I made test prints to see what they would look like and decided that the cards were a bit too stubby, so I lengthened them slightly as can be seen in this comparison between a first and second generation card.
ddc card game cards

These are the first eight cards I made, four from the Picture Deck and four from the Dewey Deck.

There are two decks, a Picture Deck and a Dewey Deck, with 32 cards in each.

Each card is unique and has been created with posed Lego minifigures. I am currently creating supplementary cards which I will make available as soon as I am able.

The game rules are as follows:


Each game set should have two decks, a Dewey Deck and a Picture Deck consisting of 32 cards each.

There should also be game rules, please note that players are welcome to adapt the game to the players.

Players encountering the Dewey Decimal Classification System for the first time can play the game using the main classes at the top of each card and at the end of the game get an extra point if they match up the Picture Card with the correct Dewey Card.

Advanced gamers and Librarians can play using the subject specific Dewey Numbers at the bottom of each card

Game Rules

Card Game:

Shuffle the decks but keep them separate

The aim of the game is to have no cards from either deck by the end of the game

Deal out both decks to people playing the game

The Picture Decks must remain face down in front of the players

All players must hold their Dewey cards

The person on the left of the dealer flips their first Picture Card (face up)

If the player to the left of the player that flipped the Picture Card cannot match it with a corresponding Dewey Card they must pick up the card and place it in the middle of their Picture Cards

If the player can match the Picture card with a Dewey Card then the two cards are placed face up next to each other in the middle of the player circle

This continues until a player runs out of Picture Cards

When this happens the Player with no Picture Cards must put down a Dewey Card and gameplay starts to go anti-clockwise

At this point players must swap their Picture Decks for their Dewey Decks

If the person to the right of that player cannot match a Picture Card to a Dewey Card then they must pick up the card

If a player runs out of Dewey Cards then the game reverts to the clockwise direction using Picture Cards

Gameplay can continue until all the cards are used or until a player runs out of both types of cards

Book Hunt:

This uses only the picture cards

Deal random cards from the Picture Deck to students and ask them to find a relevant book that will match up with the card

The winner is the student that finds the most books

Memory Game:

Place both decks of cards face down on a table

Flip one Picture Card and one Dewey Card

If you can match the Picture Card and the Dewey Card put them together, if not flip them face down again and try to match another two

You can download the beta deck and rules by clicking on the card image below

Or click here

Please note: the game is still in active development and as such the rules and cards may change with little to no warning. The game is stable enough to play.

The game is free to download, use and share but please credit Teen Librarian as the originating source if sharing with colleagues.

If you would like to offer comments, criticisms and suggestions on how the game can be improved, please leave them in the comments field below.

13 Thoughts on “Dewey Decimal Classification Card Game

  1. Lesley Martin on September 9, 2014 at 5:07 pm said:

    Matt, this is awesome! Thanks so much for creating and sharing this. I am going to try it with my Y10 study skills group later in the year – I’ll let you know what they think!

  2. Wonderful – very imaginative! I look forward to hearing about its further development and the verdict of your students.

  3. Barbara Band on September 9, 2014 at 7:39 pm said:

    This is perfect for introducing students to Dewey (like you I’m also a Dewey lover and have no problems with it but can understand how it must be confusing to some) … it’s fun, interesting and interactive. And anything new that introduces basic library skills is a plus. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Kathryn on September 9, 2014 at 9:20 pm said:

    This game sounds fab, I’m going to download these and have a go with my daughters. Great Lego pictures too.

  5. Annike Dase on September 10, 2014 at 9:01 am said:

    Hi Matt,
    thank you SO much for sharing this brilliant game, which must have taken you quite a while to create. I will trial it with teachers and will let you know what they think (I expect them to find it quite hard to be honest because they are far too used to me finding everything for them!) I will also make it part of my library monitor refresher course for long standing library monitors. The only downside is that I should probably have a good tidy in my non-fiction section beforehand… 🙂

  6. Kim Davis on September 10, 2014 at 9:03 am said:

    This is brilliant, I’m upset that I’ve just started my inductions this week. This may call for a quick change of plan 🙂

  7. Sarah Watters on September 10, 2014 at 10:24 am said:


    Thanks for your hard work on this. You are a genius! I’m looking forward to using these with my Y7 students as part of their library induction programme.

    All printed out and ready to go.

  8. Jacqueline Browne on September 10, 2014 at 12:19 pm said:

    Thank you so much Matt – we love them!!! Really looking forward to using them as part of our Year 7 classes – so much more fun than the usual worksheets!!! Thank you for sharing.

  9. Trialled this at break with some Yr7s who loved it. They were seen by Yr8 students who now want a lesson with them and I have some Yr10s who have booked the decks to play with at lunchtime. Thanks so much Matt, this is aces!

  10. Amazing – thank you so much for sharing. Will definitely be using them in my library lessons and will credit you for creating them.

  11. sue murdoch on September 10, 2014 at 11:31 pm said:

    This looks great. Thank you for sharing.

  12. This looks fabulous – love the Lego images! I think I’ll have to acquire a copy for me, let alone my students! “How Dewey Do?”

  13. Dude, this is brilliant. Thanks for sharing it.

    I have shared it with the English Faculty and will let you know how it goes.


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